Lemon ricotta cake

coming together nicely

I have a go to flourless orange cake which I adore, but the other day had some divine paesanella ricotta hanging around that needed to be used. Seeing as I’m doing the whole no carbs with fat/protein and no refined carbs a nifty little batch of ricotta gnocchi was out of the question (quietly sobs) and I was at a bit of a loss when I came across this Ben O’Donoghue and thought BINGO! It has a smidge of (semolina) flour in it but I was willing to overlook it. I love Ben’s recipes and he was always my favourite in Surfing the Menu. Curtis Stone is just a little to much of a show-pony-pretty-boy for my cooking likes.

‘My’ custard powder pastry recipe and the associated free-form apple pie is his Nan’s and I reckon that’s pretty cool.

So let’s get on with it.

Rather tasty

Lemon ricotta cake (in which I used oranges)

Recipe from: At home with Ben, Ben O’Donoghue

  • 225g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 65g semolina flour
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Rind of 6 lemons
  • 300g ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 160C and grease and line a 26cm springform cake tin
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until very pale then add the egg yolks one at a time
  3. Combine the almond meal, semolina, half the lemon zest and half the juice (although when I made it with oranges I added all the zest because I didn’t read the recipe properly. Rookie mistake) and fold into the butter and sugar mixture
  4. Crumble in the ricotta and fold through (Ben appears to leave it in little chunks whereas my ricotta was wetter so was more incorporated)
  5. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and then fold through the mixture
  6. Pour into the tin and bake for 40mins or until a skewer comes out clean (I find with flourless cakes the time can vary massively – just persevere and cover with foil if you’re worried the top is getting too dark)
  7. Make a syrup with the remaining juice, zest, 1/2 cup of sugar and a cup of water by bringing it to the boil then reducing by half (I sort of forgot to read this bit and just made a syrup of equal parts sugar and juice)
  8. Pour over the cake and eat until you can eat no more.
just a wafer monsieur





Spinach and Ricotta pie

There are one hundred and eleventy gagillion recipes for spinach and ricotta pie. Duyvken recently made a version that I have been valiantly trying to recreate ever since – it was not as spinachy as normal and so so simple. The picture below is a variation on her recipe. I, of course, couldn’t help varying it. I added too much stuff to it and while it was delicious if you want a oozy creamy concoction then follow the basic recipe.

In the picture below there is also 2 shallots, kernels from 1 cob of corn, several sprigs of mint and dill.

spinach and ricotta pie
pretty AND nutritious

Spinach and ricotta pie

  • 8 sheets filo
  • melted butter
  • 1kg ricotta
  • 1 large bunch silverbeet, washed, cut finely
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • poppyseeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Brush 4 sheets of the filo with melted butter and line a baking dish
  3. Combine the ricotta, silverbeet, 2 egg yolks, cheese and seasonings then tip into the filo
  4. Brush the remaining filo with butter and place on top of the filling
  5. Brush the top of the final sheet with butter and scatter over poppyseeds
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until nice and golden and a knife inserted in the middle of the pie comes out nice and hot.